When JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced its deal for Washington Mutual Inc.'s bank just over a month ago, Charles Scharf, the New York company's retail head, said it had "coveted" the failed thrift's branch network for a "long time."

What it did not like, apparently, is the modern cafe-style Occasio branches patented by the Seattle company in 2000, a style often copied by peers. Mr. Scharf said the banking company plans to "retrofit" those branches to make them more like Chase offices, or close them.

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